Caring for Creation – BACI Launches 2020 Lenten Study

BACI’s 2020 Lenten Bible Study “Caring for the Garden of the Earth”, was launched by our patron, Archbishop Michael Jackson, in Church House, Dublin on Tuesday 21st January.

Written by scripture scholar Dr Margaret Daly-Denton as her greatly appreciated gift to BACI, the resource comes in five parts, to facilitate creation-centered Bible Study in the first five weeks of Lent.

Launching the study, the archbishop noted that the writer had drawn on the expertise displayed in her “John: An Earth Bible Commentary” (T&T Clark, 2017) which explores the creation-centered scripture passages that would have been familiar to Jesus and the Johannine community, to highlight the biblical insights behind the Anglican Communion’s Fifth Mark of Mission that centres on Care for Creation. The series also makes the connection between the gardens of Gethsemane and Paradise, he added. 

Referring to Dr Daly-Denton’s citation of Amos 8:5, “When will the Sabbath be ended that we may market wheat?”, Dr Jackson remarked that this quote went to the heart of consumerism and the impatience of the free market economy, as well as the monetisation of the earth’s resources. 

      “People who use this resource will be greatly enriched by it,” he stated. “One of the delightful things that Margaret does is to turn scripture into prayers and we can all try this approach too. A lot of work has gone into these studies, which invite a thoughtful response; and those who engage with them will get a great deal out of them.”

BACI chairman, the Revd Dr William Olhausen, said that the study exposed the layers of Jewish and Christian wisdom which Dr Daly-Denton draws on to broaden out the readers’ understanding of who Jesus was. He added that while the series picks up the Fifth Mark of Mission it also draws readers back to the first – to proclaim the good news of the Kingdom. 

He thanked the editor of the Bible Studies, Canon Dr Ginnie Kennerley, for her excellent work on presenting the series in a way that makes them ‘user-friendly’ for parishes. 

The “Caring for the Garden of the Earth” booklets can be purchased at €3.00 or £2.50 (plus postage) from BACI treasurer Barbara Bergin at (56 Avondale Court, Blackrock. Co Dublin) and some copies are also available for purchase at Church House in Dublin and in Belfast at The Book Well,, (27 Belmont Rd, Belfast BT4 2AA).

The booklets are also available for download below.


‘The Bible Course’ – A Bible Study to Change Lives! AGM to follow.

A unique opportunity to learn about and sample an outstanding new Scripture study course — The Bible Course, as it is called — will be offered this September by the Biblical Association for the Church of Ireland (BACI) at the Church of Ireland Theological Institute in Churchtown, Dublin.  The Bible Course — developed by the Bible Society (UK and Ireland) — aims to familiarise participants with the overarching story of the Bible – creation, redemption and the promise of eternal life – as expressed in the Old and New Testaments. The course promises to become a day-to-day inspiration for our lives. 

The speakers from the Bible Society will show samples of the course, guide discussion on the content, and equip participants to lead the eight-week course in their own parishes or community settings. Created by lecturer and pastor Dr. Andrew Ollerton, the course is designed for anyone who has, or shares, responsibility for running Bible studies or discussions in the context of a Christian community.  An interview with Dr. Ollerton about the course may be found HERE.

The Bible Course is highly accessible and interactive, and will enhance and inform a person’s ongoing Bible study, whether new to the Bible or wanting to go deeper. Using a unique storyline, the course shows how the key events, books, and characters all fit together. You will get to see the big picture and discover how the Bible applies to your life.

Programme for the day:

9.30-10am: Registration and Coffee
10.00am: Introduction and act of worship – The Revd Dr. William Olhausen
10.15am: The Bible Course – Catherine Little and Julie McKinley
11.15am: Coffee
11.30am: The Bible Course – Catherine Little and Julie McKinley
11.30am: The Bible Course – Catherine Little and Julie McKinley
1.00pm: Lunch (provided)
2.00pm: The Bible Course – Catherine Little and Julie McKinley
3.00pm: Tea and Close
3.30pm: BACI AGM – All welcome

GUEST SPEAKERS: Julie McKinley of the National Bible Society of Ireland, and Catherine Little of the Bible Society of Northern Ireland.

DATE/TIME: The event will take place on Saturday, September 28, 2019 from 9.45am to 3.00pm, followed by the BACI AGM at 3.30pm.

LOCATION: The Church of Ireland Theological Institute, Braemor Park, Churchtown, Dublin. Map is HERE.

ADMISSION: Admission charge — including lunch and tea/coffee is €15.

REGISTRATION AND FURTHER INFORMATION: To register interest or to sign up for this BACI event, please contact BACI treasurer Barbara Bergin


2019 Lenten Study Launched by Archbishop Clarke: Young Irish Writers Explore Repentence

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Archbishop Richard Clarke launched this year’s Lenten Study — Transforming Repentance: Coming Home to God — at Church House in Dublin on 22 January, commending the study for use throughout the Church of Ireland and beyond.

Archbishop Richard Clarke (Photo: Barbara Bergin)

Speaking in the lunch hour at RB Week, Archbishop Clarke said that we now live in a victim culture in which we want others to apologise; but repentance goes way beyond apology. Apology is simply an explanation or expression of regret, whereas the word ‘repentance’ comes from the Greek ‘metanoia’, meaning a radical change of mind, or a ‘changed heart’. It means not only to turn away from something, but to turn toward God. ‘Repentance is coming home’, he stated. The Archbishop added that repentance also has a cost.

RevoLectionary Writers Emily Murtagh, Katie Lynch, and UCD Chaplain Scott Evans (Photo: Barbara Bergin)

Transforming Repentance — BACI’s ninth Lenten Study — reflects on the Lent Gospel readings from Luke. The study is master-minded by University College Dublin chaplain, Scott Evans, along with writers from RevoLectionary, an online platform for young Irish writers to share their thoughts each week on the upcoming Sunday’s lectionary readings.  The team for this study — Katie Lynch, Philip King, Scott Evans and Emily Murtagh —  explore what Luke can teach us about repentance and the blessings it brings in a world where repentance has passed out of style.

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Revd. Dr. Ginnie Kennerley (BACI), Emily Murtagh (RevoLectionary), Katie Lynch (RevoLectionary), Archbishop Richard Clarke, Scott Evans (UCD Chaplain), and Revd. Dr. William Olhausen (BACI) (Photo: Lynn Glanville)

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Some of the enthusiastic attendees at the 2019 Lenten Study launch (Photo: Barbara Bergin)

With the 22 January official launch of BACI’s 2019 Lenten Study — Transforming Repentance: Coming Home to God — copies may now be obtained from BACI treasurer Barbara Bergin ( at the price of €2.50 or £2.25 plus postage.

The Study is also available as a PDF download here:

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Lenten Study 2019 Preview: Transforming Repentance — Coming Home to God

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THE LENTEN BIBLE STUDY for 2019 offered by the Biblical Association for the Church of Ireland will be presented by a group of young writers from the RevoLectionary team organised by UCD chaplain Scott Evans. (RevoLectionary is a weekly blog written by young Christians, reflecting on the gospel readings for the coming week.)

The Lent Holy Gospel readings from St. Luke, which include the parable of the prodigal son, have inspired the title, ‘Transforming Repentance: Coming Home to God’. Repentance, of course, is a key Christian command, but the English word fails to convey the drama of the Greek metanoia, which implies a complete turnaround of a person’s life.  Scott Evans explains: ‘Rather than falling prey to the shallow version of repentance as saying “sorry for not being perfect”, we will reflect on repentance as a return to who we are called to be as part of God’s redemptive plan’. The key texts for the studies will be the Gospel readings for the first five weeks of Lent.

The Bible Study booklets will be available in January from BACI treasurer Barbara Bergin ( at the usual price of €2.50 or £2.25 plus postage, or at the formal launch in Church House, Rathmines on January 22nd (further details to follow), where a 10% discount for multiple copies will apply. The study will later also be available for download from this BACI website.

AUTUMN LECTURE: ‘Cable Ties & Icons — Ecumenism: Behind the Scenes at the Pope’s Visit to Ireland’ (AGM to follow)

Archbishop Michael Jackson and Other Clergy at Phoenix Park Papal Mass (Credit: Janet Maxwell)

Greg Fromholz, Coordinator for Young Adults in the United Dioceses of Dublin and Glendalough, will be the speaker at the Biblical Association for the Church of Ireland’s Autumn Lecture preceding its AGM on Saturday September 29th in Holy Trinity Church, Rathmines, where he is also a member of the Rubicon team.

The title of his lecture — ‘Cable Ties & Icons: Ecumenism — Behind the Scenes at the Pope’s Visit to Ireland’ — refers to his work for the World Meeting of Families (WMOF) as co-ordinator of performers and artists taking part in the WMOF presentations at the RDS Family Arena and at the Pope’s Mass in Phoenix Park.

‘I was involved with everything’, says Fromholz, ‘from booking the artists, including a Protestant NI band (Rend Collective) to play at the Papal Mass, a rare thing, to overseeing the relics and icons at the Mass — including cable-tying them down as the Pope was fast approaching — to co-creating the pre/post programmes of the Mass (with Ger Gallagher) and serving in a myriad of consultation roles throughout the week; also co-creating and running the main stage RDS programme at the WMOF’. Fromholz notes that the biblical principles of service and trust applied at every turn.

Greg’s talk is sure to enliven discussion on the important topic of ecumenism in Ireland.

LECTURE: ‘Cable Ties & Icons — Ecumenism: Behind the Scenes of the Pope’s Visit to Ireland’ — presented by Greg Fromholz.

DATE/TIME: The event will take place on Saturday, 29th September 2018. Tea and coffee upon arrival at 10.00am. Lecture to commence 10.30am, followed by questions.

AGM: The BACI AGM will follow after lecture and questions.

LOCATION: Holy Trinity Church, Rathmines. Directions HERE.

ADMISSION: Free to paid-up members of BACI. Admission charge for non-members is €5.

FURTHER INFORMATION: Mrs. Barbara Bergin, BACI Treasurer, or telephone 01-2888877.


2Archbishop Michael Jackson and the bishops and archbishops processing into the Papal Mass at the Phoenix Park. (Photo Danny Tiernan) copy
Archbishop Michael Jackson at Phoenix Park Papal Mass (Photo credit: Danny Tiernan)

‘Young Voices Speaking Old Words: A Lectionary Revolution’ – BACI’s Spring Lecture

Article by Lynn Glanville, Diocesan Communitions Officer for Dublin & Glendalough

RevoLectionary writer Emma Rothwell and founder Scott Evans (centre) with BACI committee members, the Revd Dr William Olhausen, Barbara Bergin, Canon Dr Ginnie Kennerley and the Revd Jack Kinkead at the BACI Spring Lecture.


RevoLectionary – Youth Blogging about God

There is a story being told on the internet which is not being informed by the Church while there is a narrative happening in the Church which is often not informed by the wider world. So says Scott Evans, founder of RevoLectionary, the weekly online blog on the lectionary which is written by young adults.

Scott was speaking at the Biblical Association for the Church of Ireland’s Spring Lecture which took place in Christ Church Cathedral, Dublin, yesterday (Sunday, April 29). He was joined by one of RevoLectionary’s writers, Emma Rothwell, who is the Diocesan Youth Officer for Meath and Kildare and chaplain at Wilson’s Hospital School.

RevoLectionary is a 600 to 1,000 word blog released every Tuesday on the readings for the following Sunday to help people who are going to be preaching to engage with the text and hear young adults’ perspectives on it. It is also for people who are interested in following the lectionary and hearing the voices of young adults.

Helping Youth to Engage with the Bible

The blog grew in response to three challenges and three opportunities. Scott identified the challenges as being Biblical illiteracy and the difficulty young adults have in engaging with the Bible; the need to engage in the online world; and the need to bring the perspective of the wider world in which we live to the Church.

“There is a story being told on the internet that is often not being informed by the Church so we wanted to introduce ourselves into that space and be part of the online conversation. But there is also a narrative that is happening in the church world that is not being informed by the wider world in which we live. We wanted to be able to participate in that so that we could feed into the conversations that are happening in churches,” he explained.

Networking to Access New Preaching Resources

He also identified three key opportunities which he said included a local and global network of clergy and lay readers who have to preach on a particular passage every Sunday. “We have a captive audience and there is not a lot of people creating stuff for them,” he pointed out. He added that creating websites has never been cheaper or easier. Most importantly he highlighted the “unique relationships with passionate and articulate young adults who truly care about what’s happening in the world, what’s happening in church and what’s happening in Scripture.”

Emma Rothwell spoke about why she enjoys writing for RevoLectionary. She wanted to get involved because she loves to study the Bible and share it with others and was delighted to get the opportunity to go deeper into the Bible. She spoke about her background in the Church of Ireland and as a student of the Bible and highlighted the foundational value of children’s ministry.

But she said that when young people enter secondary school the Church of Ireland failed them. “We confirm you and then give you no idea what to do or how to be a Christian after that point. That’s difficult because young people won’t come; they won’t come to church or to anything that you’re doing so the blame can’t really be put on clergy. But you don’t get a step up as to how to read the Bible as an adult,” she commented.

Starting Conversations about Lectionary

The lectionary is a discipline and being involved in RevoLectionary is a discipline for her, Emma explained. As someone who prepares a weekly sermon for her school, she said she realised it was easy to fall into a rut and ask what will they get out of this piece of Scripture. In RevoLectionary she is not feeding a congregation but starting a conversation.

She stressed the importance of stories and the narratives of the Bible and the lectionary is based on the idea of story and continuing the story. “The spirit of the age is yearning for the narrative approach … people want a truth that feels real,” she said.

Concluding, Scott said that the strength of the project was the diversity of the team of writers and their different backgrounds from which they approach the text. He said all the contributors, except Emma, were raised outside the Church of Ireland which raised the question of how the Church of Ireland could create models for increasing Biblical knowledge without bringing in people from the outside.

He said the success of the project would be measured by its capacity to create ways to increase Biblical knowledge and understanding of the text and to raise up students with knowledge and wisdom. He said it also gave young people the opportunity to create an ethical framework which is dynamic and nuanced because it is them we need in our pews and pulpits in the future.

RevoLectionary is funded by the Priorities Fund of the Church of Ireland. It can be found at

BACI’s spring lecture was live streamed and you may find it at the bottom of the page on this Dublin and Glendalough Facebook Link.

The Biblical Association for the Church of Ireland (BACI) exists to enrich and deepen the use of the Bible in the Church of Ireland.



‘Young Voices’ in Christ Church Cathedral Bible Event – BACI Spring Lecture

‘A Lectionary Revolution: Young Voices Speaking Old Words’ is the title for the BACI’S Spring Lecture by University College Dublin chaplain Scott Evans on April 29th.


The leader of the ‘REVōLECTIONARY’ group — which has been posting young people’s reflections on the Sunday readings on line since September 2016 — will be accompanied by members of his team.

This BACI Spring Lecture will take place in Christ Church Cathedral’s Chapter Room after 3.30pm evensong on Sunday April 29th. Tea at 4.30pm, courtesy of the Dean. Start at 4.45pm. All welcome. (No charge for BACI members.)



Irish Biblical Association


BACI Launch of 2018 Lenten Study on the ‘Five Marks of Mission’

BACI_2018_launch_committeePhilip McKinley, Barbara Bergin, the Revd Dr William Olhausen, Archbishop Michael Jackson, Archbishop Richard Clarke, Canon Dr Ginnie Kennerley, and Canon Paul Houston at the launch of BACI’s 2018 Lenten Study.

Note: Following are excerpts from a press release from the United Dioceses of Dublin and Glendalough at the launch of the BACI 2018 Lenten Study. See the post following the present post for detailed information on the study and additional information on where to obtain copies.

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Lynn Glanville, Diocesan Communications Officer, reports:

The 2018 BACI Lenten Study — As the Father Sent Me, So I Send You — was launched in Church House, Dublin, yesterday (Tuesday January 23) by Archbishop Michael Jackson. The Archbishop has put the ‘Five Marks of Mission’ at the centre of the United Dioceses of Dublin & Glendalough’s discipleship programme, Come&C.

The Five Marks of Mission were formulated in the Anglican Communion in 1984 and have been emphasised in the Church of Ireland in recent years. This year’s BACI Lenten Study focuses on the important aspects of Christian mission, moving from the teaching and pastoral care required after initial conversion to the wider societal challenges of the Gospel.

The writers contributing the study’s five chapters addressing each mark of mission are the Revd Jack Kinkead, the Revd Lesley Robinson, Mr Philip McKinley, Canon Paul Houston and Mr David Ritchie of the RCB. The Archbishop thanked the study’s editor, Canon Dr Ginnie Kennerley, for the way the work is presented and commended BACI’s accomplishments in bringing the Bible to the centre of life in the Church of Ireland.

Archbishop Jackson said that the invitation to “go and make disciples” is not just an invitation to go and recruit members. “It is about affirming people who are already doing good and interesting and Godly things.”

He drew out several nuggets contained in the Bible studies. Under the heading of the ‘Tell’ chapter of the study, he said one of the important questions raised is how the Church of Ireland would cope with a plentiful harvest, a question he suggested that is not often asked. The ‘Teach’ chapter highlights the importance of both instruction and modelling and looks at the holistic aspect of teaching.

The ‘Tend’ chapter looks at the wider responsibility and individual commitment that need to come together and the concept of praying for, and contributing to, the flourishing of the city we are in. The study looks at pilgrims, refugees and migrants but also people who are moving through a consumer society. The chapter also examines tending the self.

The ‘Transform’ chapter makes a plea for Christian engagement in politics. The Archbishop said that Christians are encouraged not to sidestep the political world and also to invited to seek ways of being in solidarity with others.

Archbishop Jackson discussed how the ‘Treasure’ chapter looks at the connection between theology and ecology. “It is very important for us in the Church of Ireland to have this articulated by the Chief Officer,” he stated, citing the chilling phrase used by Mr Ritchie that we are “chipping away at the goodness of the Earth”. He said the study highlights our theological responsibility, but also the need for a reversal of expectations whereby we walk or cycle where we would formerly have driven.

“Each of these studies draws in reflection, Scripture, commentary and prayer so as to comprehensively engage with the Five Marks of Mission…. The Marks of Mission are not exclusive of each other. In doing one you might actually be doing two or three. Mission is exciting. It is also an intrinsic part of our relationship with our neighbour,” he concluded.

Chairman of BACI, the Revd Dr William Olhausen, also thanked Canon Kennerley and all the BACI committee and contributors for their work on the study chapters. He said that each year BACI aims to engage the Church with more relevant studies and get more people involved. He said that the studies alert people to the broad canvas of what mission is and added that there is something for everyone in them.

Copies of BACI’s Lent 2018 studies are available at £2.25 or €2.50 each and are obtainable from the larger cathedral bookshops or by post from the Book Well in Belfast or the Biblical Association for the Church of Ireland treasurer, Barbara Bergin in Dublin

The full press release may be found online at: BACI Press Release. Contact for Lynn Glanville is

2018 Lenten Study Available – ‘Readings to Support the Five Marks of Mission’

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The Biblical Association for the Church of Ireland (BACI) launches their highly engaging 2018 Lenten Study on the 23rd of January. The study, entitled, As the Father Sent Me, so I Send You – Readings to Support the 5 Marks of Mission, is a resource for churches to examine the subject of the Anglican Communion’s ‘Five Marks of Mission’ in the context of biblical readings.

Biblical Foundation. Christ sends his followers, his disciples, into all the world to share his love and his teaching (Matt 28:19-20), and to make new disciples whom he will send in their turn. We are to go in God’s peace, and we will succeed only through God’s gift of the Holy Spirit.  We are to ‘stay in the city’ until we ‘are clothed with power from on high’ (Luke 24:49).

Animated by the Holy Spirit. As Canon Ginnie Kennerley states in the Study Introduction, we must be grounded in this understanding of Christian mission before we seek to respond to the call for mission itself. Mission is — literally — being sent out, not by any human authority, but by the Lord himself.  We are to go in his peace, and we are not to go until animated by the Holy Spirit. If for his ministry Jesus himself needed the outpouring of the Spirit at his baptism, how could his disciples possibly dispense with such an anointing?

Five Marks of Mission as Road-Map. To enter into mission, we need to be disciples ourselves, and ‘to be aware at least that we are striving and seeking God’s help to be true disciples, following Jesus as he has revealed himself to us and seeking always to be faithful.  Only then can we dare share the Good News of the Kingdom, whether we are sent out across the world or to the house next door.’ Human beings need a structure or plan for mission.  The Anglican Communion’s Five Marks of Mission offer us this kind of road-map as we contemplate Jesus’ call to ‘make disciples’ for him. The Five Marks of Mission are Tell, Teach, Tend, Transform, and Treasure, each examined in the study in separate chapters structured to be used as individual group study sessions which include prayer, an introduction to the material, a relevant Scripture reading, and study questions to stimulate discussion.

Study Launch. Archbishop Michael Jackson will launch the 2018 Study on the 23rd of January at Church House, Dublin, at 1.15pm. Copies will be available at the launch at a ten percent discount for ten copies. The retail price is £2.25 or €2.50, obtainable from the larger cathedral bookshops, the Bookwell in Belfast, or the the BACI Treasurer, Barbara Bergin,

Copies of the Study may be downloaded below as a PDF file:



Autumn Lecture: Engaging with the Five Marks of Mission (AGM to follow)

We are happy to announce the subject of BACI’s Autumn Lecture: The Church in the World: Engaging with the Five Marks of Mission.


The Five Marks of Mission that have traditionally been identified by the Anglican Communion are being presented by the following:

  1. TELL – Revd Jack Kincaid: To proclaim the Good News of the Kingdom
  2. TEACH – Revd Lesley Robinson: To teach, baptise and nurture new believers;
  3. TEND – Mr Philip McKinley: To respond to human need by loving service;
  4. TRANSFORM – Revd Canon Paul Houston: To transform unjust structures of society, to challenge violence of every kind and pursue peace and reconciliation;
  5. TREASURE – Mr. David Ritchie: To strive to safeguard the integrity of creation, and sustain and renew the life of the earth.

DATE/TIME: The event will take place on Wednesday, 13 September, 2017 at 7.30pm.

AGM: The BACI AGM will follow at approximately 8.45pm.

LOCATION: Parish Centre at Castleknock (Parishes of Castleknock and Mulhuddart with Clonsilla), 7.30 for 7.45 p.m. A map of the Castleknock area indicating the Parish Centre is HERE.

ADMISSION: Free to paid-up members of BACI. Admission charge for non-members: €5.

LENTEN STUDY GUIDE: We look forward to the further contribution of each of our presenters in the preparation of chapters for the 2018 Lenten Study, available in January.

FURTHER INFORMATION: Mrs. Barbara Bergin, BACI Treasurer, or telephone 01-2888877.